How To Choose High-Quality Defender Doors?

SP PANELS manufactures high-quality replacement car doors, especially for the Land Rover Defender. The Land Rover brand in general has always been trusted for its dependability and durability, which means that these should be the exact same parameters to consider when buying replacement Defender doors.

Your Land Rover Defender doors are more than just entry and exit points on your vehicle. They serve as protection not only from accidents but from the environment as well. This is why it’s important to choose your replacement doors well, if you need them, making sure that they offer the same if not a better level of protection than your original doors provided.

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  • Material used

    The material used plays a huge role in a car door’s quality. Rust is usually the biggest offender when it comes to low-quality car doors. That can cause leaks to develop, and it tends to make doors more brittle, which means that they won’t do much to protect you in the event of an accident.

    Rust can also cause your car door to come loose from its hinges. This heightens the risk of the door not closing properly, or worse, falling off while the vehicle is in motion if not replaced immediately.

    Here at SP PANELS, we make doors with hot-dipped galvanised frames that will last the lifetime of your vehicle. These Defender galvanised doors can withstand any climate or temperature and will give you the highest level of protection, one that’s consistent with the rest of your Defender.

    The manufacturing process dictates the quality of the Defender door you buy. This is why we take pride in our own processes, knowing that every single detail has been refined and polished through our long experience.

  • Perfect fit

    A loose-fitting car door is an accident waiting to happen. When the car door is loose, it could render your door seals useless. A loose door can let water into your car’s interior, causing a lot of damage. This means additional repair and maintenance costs in the long run.

    This also means that your heating or air-conditioning unit might be uselessly drawing energy from your car battery. A loose door means that the heat or cold from outside will easily seep through cracks and open spaces around the door frame.

    That is why it’s essential at the first sign of any problems with your existing doors to buy high-quality replacement doors from trusted manufacturers and stores that specialise in replacement doors for your Defender. A trusted and experienced store will know the exact specifications of proprietary Defender car doors, making sure they fit as snugly and accurately as they should.

  • Type of hinges used

    Different vehicles use different types of hinges. Some hinges are screwed onto the vehicle body and the door, while there are cases where the hinges are built into the vehicle body, with the other end built into the car door.

    You should make sure you check what type of hinge comes with your Defender before buying replacement doors. Buying a car door that uses a different type of hinge means that you won’t be able to attach it to the vehicle.

  • Provision for other attachments or accessories

    A number of attachments and accessories are or can be attached to a Defender’s car door, so make sure the replacement door you’re getting has provisions for these.

    The interior door panels, for example, should fit perfectly with your replacement doors, especially if you plan on using the same door panels attached to your old Defender doors. You can also choose to buy separate door panels that are unique to your needs, as long as they are a perfect fit for your replacement door.

    Don’t forget the window system, too. Make sure your car doors can accommodate the type of window system your Defender uses. There are certain wires and buttons to consider, so this should be a critical part of your selection process.

    Car doors come with check straps, too; so make sure you check on holes or other provisions needed where the check strap can be screwed or bolted in. Check straps are important because they make sure that your car door does not open up too far. They basically provide a limit on how far your car door can go when opening to prevent accidents and the like.

With the huge role that your car doors play, don’t leave it to chance. Here at SP PANELS, we can make sure your vehicle is fitted with the perfect Defender front doors and rear doors.

How to Replace Defender Doors

The process of replacing your doors may seem complicated, but it can be done through a few easy-to-follow steps.

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  1. Work out what type of hinges your car and car door use. As mentioned earlier, your car and your car door should use matching hinges; otherwise, they won’t fit together.
  2. If your hinges use screws, unscrew the old door from the frame. If it uses bolts, use a socket spanner.
  3. Remove the old door from the frame. Make sure you keep the bolts or screws used because you might need them to attach the new door unless your car door comes with a new set of screws.
  4. Refit the new door, making sure that the hinges are properly lined up. Loosely refit the screws or bolts first, making sure that everything lines up perfectly before tightening them up.
  5. Reconnect the check strap and see if it fits right. Open and close the door to see if the door opens up too far, in which case you will need to adjust the check strap to either loosen or tighten it up.
  6. Check for any other connections that need to be fixed. Make sure there is no hanging wiring or anything else that may get in the way of the door closing properly.

Note that you may need someone to assist you while doing this, given that you need someone to hold onto the door while you bolt it into place.

One handy hint is to use some thread locking fluid as well. This can be applied to the bolts and holes before locking the door in. It prevents the bolts from loosening up when the car vibrates. Because the Defender is primarily built for different types of terrain, including rugged landscapes, this tip can be helpful, especially if you love driving your vehicle over uneven surfaces.

Find out more about our Defender replacement doors and other accessories here at SP PANELS. You can use our live chat function or send us an email through [email protected].


What are Defender doors made from?

You can expect your Land Rover Defender complete doors, including the half tail door for Series (the alternative to a drop-down tailgate) and Defender soft tops, to have a galvanised steel frame, a zinc-coated aluminium steel skin and a galvanised riveted top capping. They also have stainless steel, CNC-pressed and laser-cut threshers.

How do you remove the rear door of a Defender?

  1. Undo the wire for the speaker and draw it through the loom.
  2. Remove the cotter pin and, using a small hammer or similar, lightly tap out the retaining bolt.
  3. Unscrew each of the hinges, being careful not to let the door fall on you when it’s free of the vehicle.

When should I replace my car door?

If your Defender has been involved in an accident that has directly involved the bodywork or specifically the doors, you may find the doors are hard to close. Age and wear and tear over time can also affect the Defender access doors’ operation or their watertightness, so check periodically and replace any door which isn’t performing fully as you’d expect.

Does my car door need to be replaced?

As noted, damage in an accident is one reason. Others include if your door is excessively rusty – you should consider buying the right Defender entry doors to ensure the integrity of your vehicle. And if you’re looking to sell, but your vehicle has unsightly dents or scratches that can’t be removed, a new door can increase its overall value.

Is it hard to replace a car door?

If there comes a time when you need to, or would like to, buy Land Rover Defender opening doors and replace your old ones, it’s a relatively easy job. You don’t need any expensive or complicated tools, but you may need another person to help you as it can be an awkward job for one person to manage alone.

How long does it take to replace a car door?

Fixing or replacing a single car door may take between three and six hours. The more doors that need replacement, the longer the job will be. However, if you’re handing your vehicle over to a garage for replacement, repairs, a new paint job and paint curing, it could well be in the shop for two to three weeks.

Can I replace a car door myself?

As mentioned, it’s not a complicated process, and you don’t need to buy an expensive toolset for it. You may need to remove some parts to access the bolts that hold the hinges, but if you’re worried about the work involved, you could instead buy your own replacement Defender 90 doors and then ask a garage to install them.

Are car doors metal or plastic?

The exterior side of a car’s door will usually be made of metal, just like the rest of the vehicle’s body. The car’s fixtures and fittings, such as the interior and exterior handles, may be plastic, as may any interior panelling.

How are doors attached to cars?

Defender doors galvanised with a protective layer of zinc are attached to the car’s body with hinges, which are the mechanisms that enable the opening and closing of the doors. Most door hinges are made from a strong, solid metal like steel. Your vehicle has two door hinges on each door; an upper and a lower one.

What are the parts of a car door?

  • Locks and latches: These are for your security to prevent unauthorised access.
  • Switch: This is connected to your vehicle’s electrical parts to inform you that your door is not properly closed.
  • Brakes or Stays: These slow down your door while it is closing.
  • Door card (the panel that covers the interior parts) and handle.
  • Pillar.
  • Interior storage compartment.
  • Windows.

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How to Replace Your Car Door

  1. Check you’ve bought the right doors, so Defender 2nd row doors for the vehicle’s rear doors and so on.
  2. Identify the appropriate tools needed depending on the nature of the bolts.
  3. Disconnect any wiring threaded through the doors to avoid them getting damaged during the replacement.
  4. Avoid resting the door’s weight on the door holder.
  5. Unbolt the hinges, and remove the door.
  6. Remove the new doors’ hinges if there are any.
  7. Line up the new doors.
  8. Tighten the bolts.
  9. Apply thread locking fluid.
  10. Bolt the door holder.
  11. Reconnect the wiring.
  12. Push the rubber wiring tube to its recess.
  13. Test the door electronics.
  14. Ensure the door is fully working and fits tightly. If not, make adjustments.

How Much It Costs to Replace a Car Door

A Defender rear door kit’s price depends on several factors, such as the vehicle’s paint, make, model, power options, etc. Also, note that the individual car door parts, like the shell, window, door panels and other internal parts, are all priced individually.

If you want an auto or body shop to replace your Land Rover Defender doors for you, it will cost you on average around £170 for labour. If you want to cut the costs of replacing your doors, you should consider buying used ones.

However, they aren’t always easy to find and won’t necessarily match your Land Rover in colour, so you’d need to factor into the deal the cost of the doors plus any repainting and labour. That might total between £350 and £560 or more.

Different Types of Car Doors

  • Scissor: You will commonly see this on luxurious cars such as a Ferrari and Lamborghini.
  • Gull-Wing: This is hinged over the car’s roof instead of to its side.
  • Butterfly: This is pretty similar to a scissor door, but it opens wider.
  • Suicide: It means the vehicle doors hinged at its rear as opposed to the front.
  • Sliding: You will commonly see these on vans, minivans and buses.
  • Pocket: This is similar to a sliding door.
  • Swan: This is the same as conventional doors but opens wider.
  • Canopy: This is shaped like a canopy when opened.
  • Dihedral: This is also similar to scissor doors, but it opens by moving outward while rotating 90 degrees.
  • Front-Hinged: The front door is the only entrance and exit.

Why Your Car Door Won’t Close Properly

  • Latch Problems: If your door latch is rusted, sticking or binding, It may not close securely. You can solve this by applying oil to the mechanism.
  • Handles: If your door is stuck in the open position, it’s possible the handles are bound or jammed. You probably need a garage for this one.
  • Anchor: Check the anchor over to find marks where the latch is hitting it. Loosen the bolts and move the anchor up/ down/ in/ out in tiny increments, retightening the bolts and trying the door each time to see if the adjustment has brought it back into alignment.
  • Hinges: Hinges become bent or damaged after impact, like a car accident or the wind swinging the door wide open. These incidences can also warp the door frame. Ask your garage if you can’t identify what the issue is.
  • Electronics: A door lock switch may be stuck, keeping your Defender rear doors from closing. Check and change the fuses.
  • Cold Weather: If your door locks are frozen, you will have a hard time opening them. Use de-icer, never boiling water!

How To Adjust A Car Door

  1. Examine the door when it’s wide open and ensure the rubber seal is intact and not throwing the door out of alignment.
  2. Close the door and see if it needs realignment by running your finger around the door jamb to spot any gaps.
  3. Open the door and ensure whether the striker plate is in place.
  4. Loosen the bolts, see if they are in good condition and replace them if necessary.
  5. Tighten the bolts and open and close the door to realign it.

If you need to replace your Land Rover Defender’s doors, buy them from our product range here at SP PANELS. We are a reliable seller of rear and front doors for Defender, as well as many more that are suitable for Land Rover vehicles.